SharePoint Master? How About SharePoint Jedi!

April 2, 2009 at 2:01 pm | Posted in Microsoft SharePoint | 4 Comments

Fellow analyst Mike Gotta pointed me to a blog post by Arpan Shah about a new accreditation program for SharePoint:

The goal of the Masters Program “is to provide a means for training, recognizing, and developing the top SharePoint technical experts in the world.” … Just to qualify for this program requires meeting a super high bar. This program is not for everyone; it really requires an exceptional depth and breadth of SharePoint real world hands-on experience & knowledge working with real customers. It also requires an investment of time (3 weeks in Redmond) and money.

It’s hard … if you meet a SharePoint Master, you know you’ve met someone with deep SharePoint expertise. 🙂 You can feel confident that it took a lot of real world experience, a rigorous training program and having to pass difficult exams!

I guess SharePoint MVP wasn’t a shiny enough badge to wear! What can a SharePoint Master do that a SharePoint MVP can’t?  I’m picturing that where an MVP might code a SharePoint search page that returns too many unneeded results, a Master could do a Jedi-like hand wave, recite “These aren’t the documents you’re looking for.  Move along.”, and the superfluous results would magically disappear.  And if a fight breaks out at the hotel bar at the next SharePoint Conference, you may see one sysadmin holding another back from attacking and saying with reverence “No, don’t mess with him!  He’s a SharePoint Master!”

Seriously though, this relates to a point a client asked me yesterday about SharePoint consulting firms I would recommend for creating a SharePoint statement of governance (and would I recommend Microsoft). My answer was that I haven’t been researching or following the consulting firms so I don’t have enough data points here to point in one direction.  But what I have observed is that SharePoint has been wildly successful – more than Microsoft even expected.  What this means is that there’s far more demand for deep SharePoint knowledge than there are consultants who can supply it.  Microsoft in particular has been staffing up, but has to rely on its partners even more than it normally would to meet demand.  Good SharePoint developers, admins, and architects (to say nothing of specialists in SharePoint search, workflow, business data catalog, portal audience definition, etc.) are spread very thinly across the market right now and will continue to be for the next few years at least.

That said, I think the unspoken flipside to these validating titles like Master (which I find a bit over-the-top) is that there is such a glut of poor SharePoint consultants who put it on their skills list after creating a few simple sites that Microsoft finds it necessary to distinguish who really knows SharePoint.  Hopefully this helps since there are enough challenges to an enterprise collaboration, portal, or content management implementation in general without having to worry about bad consultants and contractors too.

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4 Comments »

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  1. there is zero relationship between the MVP program and the MCM. please see my post on the MCM for SharePoint for more details.

  2. Spence, can you include a link to the post you’re referring to?

    Also, I wouldn’t say zero relationship. MVP is kind of a community leader who really knows their stuff. MCM as I understand it is a combo of signaling (like a top MBA program that only accepts the best, so just being in it signals your high level) and accreditation (you go through a tough course). But both are about solving the problem I mention above – that the glut of SharePoint people on the market necessitates more ways of anointing those who are really good.

  3. Sure, the link is http://www.harbar.net/archive/2008/11/21/Microsoft-Certified-Master-for-SharePoint.aspx

    I’ve been a MVP for 7 years and am attending the MCM – I can absolutely GUARANTEE you 100% there is zero relationship between MVP and MCM.

    MVP is an award for community contributions, it does not neccissarily mean technical capability.

    I do agree that both play a key part in field readiness and adoption.

    As I said more on the MCM on my blog, I will be posting a follow up when i return home next week.

    s.

  4. her comment is here

    SharePoint Master? How About SharePoint Jedi! | KnowledgeForward


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